Greetings summer kings and queens and everyone-in –betweens—
However you identify is lovely by me.
However you love, is lovely by me.
Be you, I’m me…we’re not free til we all are free. You know?
I have to say. Not being a fan of summer weather, this summer in NJ hasn’t been terrible. I feel like we’ve had some cool weather in pockets. And I love a good thunderstorm. Which there have been many.
Our dog Charlie has been quite busy trying to catch the rabbit who loves our yard. But once she slides through the hole in the back fence, I hear Charlie muttering under his breath, “I guess not today. Darn bunny with that puffy tail.”
I’ve read a lot of really strong books lately and I will share that list with you at the end of this newsletter. I’m anxiously (the only right word) waiting for my next round of edits from Inked in Gray for my YA, Black Licorice. “But wait, haven’t you revised this already?” Yes I have. It’s my first novel, and I have to get it right. And getting it right takes a LOT of revisions. I haven’t opened it in 8 months. Covid stopped the process up a bit, but this time away from Freddi, Lorna, and Court (the teens in my novel) has been good. Because when I do open the document, I will see it with fresh eyes again. I will ignite their lives with the blood they need.
My revisions for Italian Bones in the Snow begin very soon. My editor Melanie at Vine Leaves Press will work so hard with me to prepare this book for its February release. I can’t wait. This book is full of something for everyone. I reveal a lot about my life. I also bring you back in time to the 1980s. I recently drafted an ode to DEB. Those hot pink lights. Hot Sam pretzels around the corner. Omg, heaven.
I also added a new piece to called Noon Bread. Nineteen-year-old Italian-American girls can only stay thin for so long before the noon bread jumps into their lap after a nice skinny morning on the beach. Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean. 🙂
I recently pulled our daughters out of CCD. I always thought the “tradition” and “culture” could sustain me. Yeah…nope. I needed a catalyst to do what I’ve needed to do for a very, very long time. To quote my dear friend, C. Julian Jimenez, Locusts Have no King. You can read about my journey in my book in Feb. Or skip that part. Your call. Like I said, there is something for everyone. You’d probably rather read about my escapades with boyfriends in college. Whoops.
My little one and I have been painting with watercolors and acrylics daily, in between it all. (see the fox family above, in honor of my husband’s football club favorite) We are a quiet, but busy kitchen, for the most part. Unless we’re in a mood and we’re feeding our kids a lot of classic rock and new rock and pop rock. Or unless we’re hosting friends. Or driving in five directions to camps in our beach town.
Here is a list of wonderful books I’ve read recently.
How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness, Jessica Bell: a riveting dystopian narrative with so much humanity in its bones.
Byline Legacies, Cardigan Press: a gorgeous anthology of poems and short stories about writers and their chaos and joy.
All These Little Stars, Nicole Zamlout: a cosmic and lovely string of observations about the world, tying into the night sky.
I Remember Us, Jaime Dill: one of my favorite poetry collections in a long time–all about love and the origins of soulmates.
Buried Beneath, Kelly Ann Hopkins: my favorite YA read of the year so far: a heart wrenching story about the dangers of hoarding and the way it affects loved ones
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, Erin Entrada Kelly: the next Ramona Quimby!
I’m rewatching BroadChurch and I am waiting for Ted Lasso and YellowStone to return to my screen. Until next time!
Have a safe and healthy summer!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqAvFx3NxUMan oldie but goody.